During the fourth corona wave, when the delta variant prevailed, thousands more people died in Bavaria than usual. Normally around 2,500 people die in Bavaria every week. At the end of November and beginning of December, there were sometimes more than 1,000 deaths per week more than the average (median) of the four years before. This is the result of figures from the Federal Statistical Office.
Rise in deaths from October on delta wave
From October onwards, these figures show a clear increase in the number of deaths per week. For the period from the beginning of November to mid-December, the authority consistently reports death numbers that are several hundred higher than the values of the four previous years. The highest difference was in calendar week 48 with a total of 3,699 deaths – 1,094 more than the median value.
According to preliminary figures, a total of 32,041 people died in Bavaria in calendar weeks 40 to 49 – i.e. from October 4th to December 12th, 2021. That is a good 6,500 more than the median values for these weeks from previous years. The statistics see a direct connection with Corona in 3,269 deaths. Across Germany, the Federal Statistical Office also shows significantly more deaths than the average of previous years. Here the difference is even in the tens of thousands.
Corona wave: excess mortality of up to 30 percent
Scientists from the Covid-19 data analysis group CODAG at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich have also calculated a significant excess mortality in the delta wave for Bavaria. In a report published on Friday, they come up with weekly excess mortality of up to 30 percent during this period. According to the researchers, about half of these can be explained by deaths with Covid-19.
Already in the second corona wave in 2020 there was a Germany-wide “excess mortality”, as the statisticians call an unusually high number of deaths. However, this had returned to normal over the course of the year until there was another noticeable increase in the autumn.
Falling number of intensive care patients despite omicron
In the course of December 2021, the number of infections in Bavaria – and accordingly the number of deaths – fell sharply again. Since December 30, with the Omicron variant declared for the fifth wave, the number of infections has been climbing rapidly again.
According to the weekly report of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Omicron is now also the dominant virus variant in Bavaria. In the intensive care units of the hospitals, however, the number of patients has recently fallen further. On Friday there were less than half as many corona patients as at the peak of the delta wave.
Median: This is how the statisticians calculate
The Federal Statistical Office gives the median of the corresponding calendar weeks from 2017 to 2020 as a comparative value for the current number of deaths. The median is formed from a set of numbers, half of which are higher and the other half lower. This mean is less sensitive to distortions caused by individual extreme values than the average that is otherwise often used. For example, given the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 1000, the median would be 5, but the average would be 207.2.